Popular Math Expert Brings Soap Bubble Secrets to WFU

Mere millionths of an inch thick, found in countless bathtubs and toy stores, soap bubbles nevertheless are more than just efficient enclosers of air says popular math columnist, TV show host and award-winning professor Frank Morgan. They teach us a lot about the math found in daily life.

Morgan will share those secrets at Wake Forest University — and give his audience an opportunity to plunge their own hands in the suds to make bubbles and try to win prizes — at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Gentry lecture, “The Soap Bubble Geometry Contest.”

The lecture will be held in Brendle Recital Hall and is free and open to the public. Morgan will give a second Gentry lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in Room 17 of Calloway Hall. That lecture, “Ideal Shapes,” will explore some of the latest research findings on minimal surfaces. Refreshments will be served at 3:30 p.m. before the public lecture in Room 310 of Calloway Hall.

Morgan’s lectures are funded by the Ivey and Nell Gentry Lectureship established in 1987 to honor Ivey Gentry’s 40-year career at Wake Forest, which included 25 years as chairman of the university’s mathematics department.

Currently the visiting professor for distinguished teaching at Princeton University, Morgan has won several awards for his teaching, including the Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He writes a biweekly Math Chat column for the Christian Science Monitor and hosts a weekly live call-in Math Chat show in Williamstown, Mass., where he has served as professor of mathematics at Williams College since 1989. Morgan also served on the National Science Foundation’s national Math Advisory Committee from 1987 to 1990 and is the author of such textbooks as “Calculus Lite” and “Geometric Measure Theory: a Beginner’s Guide.”

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